"The events unfolded when an ambulance crew - responding to a call just before 1:30 a.m. about a person who had fallen at a Haymarket nightclub - noticed smoke coming from a car parked in front of the building, Clarke said."
I hope those crew members get some bonuses.Â They certainly deserve it. Â If not for their observation...and willingness to report it, there might have been a terrible loss of life.Â Much like the observant young man who alerted authorities to suspicious images while developing film for the suspects that were later charged with attempts to kill soldiers at Fort Dix here in New Jersey.
All these years since 9/11, with all the chipping away at the freedoms we hold dear, with all of the claims by the government that they need to be able to spy on us at will, check our library lists when they want, monitor our phone calls without cause, and otherwise place virtual choke collars on us, it still boils down to dumb luck and good citizens to stop crime.Â
It seems almost every major plot that has been foiled has been stopped not by the tools the government claims it needs to protect us, but by observant citizens noticing something is amiss and having the wherewithal to speak up.
In neighborhoods with Community Watch programs, crime rates go down.Â When citizens take responsibility for their own neighborhoods and start paying attention to their surroundings, it becomes difficult for criminals (terrorists or otherwise) to perform the evil acts they wish to do.Â
Perhaps the best way to combat terrorism, then, is to put more funds into real community based programs and stop funding ineffective domestic spying programs.Â Maybe empowering citizens to feel they have both control, and therefore responsibility, for their own safety is a better course of action than bizarrely formulated top-secret watch lists based on the illogical and unchecked reasoning from an elite few.Â